Australian Bureau of Statistics
Health Insurance Survey
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NAME OF ORGANISATION
The survey establishes the level of the population with and without private health insurance (PHI), provides a broad indication of the type of cover (hospital - basic or higher, ancillary, both) and related information such as reasons for cover or reasons for no cover, changes to cover, etc.
A particular strength of this collection relative to data on private health insurance coverage available from industry sources, is its ability to describe levels and changes in levels, for population groups.
The survey is designed to describe the levels, types and patterns of private health insurance cover, and to enable changes in these elements to be monitored over time.
The scope of the survey was restricted to all Australian residents living in private dwellings with the following exclusions:
The Health Insurance Survey provides a measure of private health insurance (PHI) coverage throughout the population. The different types of PHI cover comprise:
Health Insurance Survey Australia (ABS Cat No.
ABS standard classifications were used for items describing standard demographic and labour force characteristics.
Two fundamental survey specific classifications used were:
Type of private health insurance:
Type of contributor unit:
Other concepts (summary)
The survey amied to identify selected health actions taken by people in the two weeks prior to interview. Actions covered are:
The survey amied to identify all illness conditions currently experienced by respondents, including long-term conditions. All conditions reported were coded to selected conditions/reasons contained in the ninth revision (1975) of the International Classififcation of Diseases (ICD). Information obtained is as reported' by respondents, and may differ from that obtained by medical diagnosis.
Comments and/or Other Regions
The survey was conducted annually from 1979 to 1984, then each two years until 1992. The last survey in the series was conducted in June 1998. This survey will not be run again in future, as the key topics are planned to be covered in the National Health Survey program.
The survey was conducted annually from 1979 to 1984, then biennially up to and including 1992, then 1998. Limited information on private health insurance cover was also obtained in the 1989-90 and 1995 National Health Surveys run by the ABS.
Major breaks to the series occurred in 1984 with the introduction of Medicare, and in 1988 with the redefinition of "contributor unit" as one of the base counting units used in the collection.
Data availability comments
Health Insurance Survey, Australia (ABS Cat. No. 4335.0)
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This page last updated 7 August 2012